23 May 2023

Always Been a Scam

Preach it John Oliver!
As I have noted on multiple occasions, carbon offsets are a scam

They are a way for non-profits, and brokers, to get money for things like protecting forests from logging that will never be logged, or, in more extreme cases, forests that have never existed.

David Antonioli, the CEO of Verra, which is responsible for the vast bulk of the certifications of these instruments after revelations that more than 90% of the offsets that it certified are fraudulent.

The process of buying and selling carbon credits is inherently criminogenic, kind of like cryptocurrency.

That fraud has taken over is a shame, but not a surprise:

The head of the world’s leading carbon credit certifier has announced he will step down as CEO next month.

It comes amid concerns that Verra, a Washington-based nonprofit, approved tens of millions of worthless offsets that are used by major companies for climate and biodiversity commitments, according to a joint Guardian investigation earlier this year.

In a statement on LinkedIn on Monday, Verra’s CEO, David Antonioli, said he would leave his role after 15 years leading the organisation that dominates the $2bn voluntary carbon market, which has certified more than 1bn credits through its verified carbon standard (VCS).


The announcement follows a difficult period for Verra, which has seen the environmental integrity of their carbon standard satirised by the comedian John Oliver and journalistic exposés about the integrity of their carbon credit certification process.
[The vid is above]

In January, a nine-month investigation by the Guardian, the German weekly Die Zeit and the investigative group SourceMaterial found Verra rainforest credits used by Disney, Shell, Gucci and other big corporations were largely worthless, often based on stopping the destruction of rainforests that were not threatened, according to independent studies. It also found evidence of forced evictions at a flagship scheme co-operated by Conservation International in Peru.

Antonioli strongly rejected the findings of the investigation and defended Verra’s impact on the conservation of rainforests. The organisation is in the process of introducing new rules for generating rainforest carbon credits, with all projects set to be using the new system by mid-2025.

Translation, "We are doing nothing wrong, and we promise never to do it again." 

I know that I say this way too often, but the people who are engaged in these frauds should be frog-marched out of their offices in handcuffs.

Carbon taxes are cheaper to administer and far less vulnerable to fraud, and the enforcement on transnational trade can follow the same model used for a value added tax.

The only advantage to cap and trade, and this applies only if you are a corrupt sociopath, is that you and your fellow Wall Street or City of London friends can make back sitting astride the transactions and extracting a toll.


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